One day after sending No. 18 Iowa State to the max, the Iowa volleyball team ended the Iowa State Challenge with a sweep of Eastern Washington at Hilton Coliseum.
The Hawkeyes defeated Eastern Washington 25-22, 26-24, 25-18 on Saturday and improved to 7-3 on the season.
“We had to grind this win out today,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “Yesterday was hard; we played 10 sets of volleyball and five very emotional sets last night. For us to come out to win in three was great. We were happy to go five (sets) last night with Iowa State after being down 2-0, but we wanted to win the tournament. We learned a lot about ourselves. Overall, I am pleased with the weekend. We need to continue to improve as we head towards Big Ten play.”
Junior Nikki Dailey and sophomore Alex Lovell both made the all-tournament team. Dailey recorded her fourth straight double-double against Eastern Washington, finishing with 33 assists and 10 digs, while Lovell had a team-high 17 kills.
Junior Bethany Yeager also had a team-high 20 digs, and junior Rachael Bedell added 12 kills in the win.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 7-2 lead and then led 12-5 before Eastern Washington rallied. The Hawks eventually closed out the set with a 5-2 spurt.
The second game was back-and-forth and eventually was tied at 22. Emily Yanny came through with back-to-back blocks to give Iowa game point, but Eastern Washington rallied to tie back up. Yanny and Lovell then scored consecutive kills to close out the set.
Eastern Washington led 13-11 in Game 3, but a 10-1 run by the Hawkeyes gave Iowa a 21-14 lead before eventually winning by seven.
Against Iowa State, Dailey had 45 assists and 17 digs, while Yeager added 17 digs and Lovell smashed 12 kills. Freshman Erin Radke also had 12 kills, while Alessandra Dietz had 10 kills and Allison Straumann turned in a career-high 11 digs.
The Cyclones took the first two sets fairly easily, winning 25-17 and 25-13 on their homecourt. But Iowa rallied with a marathon win in Game 3, 33-31, and then tied the score at two games apiece with a 25-19 victory in the fourth game.
The Cyclones (6-3) survived the scare in the final set, winning 15-9. The win evened the Cy-Hawk Series matchup at 2-2. The Iowa State football team gave the Cyclones an advantage in that race with a 9-6 victory Saturday afternoon in Iowa City.
“I am proud of our team,” said Dingman. “We spent an awful lot of energy to put ourselves in a position to win. I thought we performed poorly this morning against Syracuse. To see us rally was nice, and I thought we played pretty well. We gave it our best shot tonight; we just could not get kills in the fifth set.”
The Hawkeyes will next play at the Marquette Invitational in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this weekend. Iowa plays Pacific at 11 a.m. Friday and Milwaukee at 430 p.m. Friday before facing off against host Marquette at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.